Nicotine Patch, Gum May Increase Risk of Colic in Newborns: Study

Nicotine replacement products like patches and gums may increase the risk of colic among newborns, according to the findings of a new study. 

Pregnant women who used a nicotine patch or nicotine gum had an 11 percent chance of giving birth to a baby who cried excessively, according to the findings of a study published in the medical journal Pediatrics.

The study, conducted by researchers in Denmark, contradicts previous findings that suggested the use of nicotine replacement during pregnancy has no negative health effects on women or their babies.

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

Researchers looked at data on 63,000 mothers who gave birth between 1996 and 2002, and found that about 15,000 of those mothers smoked while pregnant, 1,200 had used some form of nicotine replacement and smoked while pregnant and 207 had just used nicotine replacement products. The 11% colic rate among pregnant women who used nicotine replacement alone compared to a 9% rate among smokers and a 7% rate among non-smokers.

Despite the slight difference in rates, researchers determined that nicotine replacement products and smoking were related to about the same rate of colic in newborns, leading them to speculate that there is some aspect of nicotine which could contribute to infant colic. According to their findings, an increasing number of cigarettes smoked per day was associated with higher risks of having a baby with colic.

The researchers say they looked at, and eliminated, other behaviors and factors that could increase the risk of a baby having colic, such as lifestyle and socio-economic class, noting that the dose-response association between nicotine intake and colic points to a possible causal relationship.

Additional studies are needed on the safety of nicotine patch and gum products, according to researchers, who suggested that pregnant women find other means to quit smoking.

A study published earlier this year in Tobacco Control found that the use of nicotine patches, like Nicoderm, and nicotine gums, like Nicorette were no better at helping people to quit smoking than if they had just quit “cold turkey.”


"*" indicates required fields

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories